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The Magic Cafe Forum Index » » Magical equations » » Backstage with Blackstone (0 Likes) Printer Friendly Version

Scott Cram
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There used to be a show on PBS called "Square One TV", and it taught math with the help of music videos, comedy skits, and even guest star appearances. It premiered 25 years ago (almost to the day - January 26, 1987).

One of their recurring segments was "Backstage with Blackstone", where Harry Blackstone, Jr., would show some of the cast members a math-based magic trick, and then explain how it was done.

Some of the segments, and even some complete episodes, have shown up on YouTube. Granted, they probably won't be on there for long, but while they are, I thought I'd link to some of the Blackstone segments, so you can get an idea of what they were like:

5 envelope spelling:
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=zbS7ySFmT-0

Dime, Penny, Nickel:
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=XST1vZi4YCo#t=11m10s

Cardless card trick (Addition):
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=bYPSGitAr0Q#t=9m29s

Cardless card trick (18):
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=qiIBpceAWgQ#t=15m07s

20 cent trick:
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=irw9JL5WEHk#t=7m45s
spcarlson
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What a great find Scott, thanks for posting that!

Blackstone Jr. was a very classy guy I miss him.
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Bob1Dog
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Scott, very thoughtful of you to post this stuff....thank you!
What if the Hokey Pokey really IS what it's all about? Smile

My neighbor rang my doorbell at 2:30 a.m. this morning, can you believe that, 2:30 a.m.!? Lucky for him I was still up playing my drums.
Scott Cram
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Here's another one called "Name the Number":
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=6Rf5yWtfpIs#t=10m42s
Scott Cram
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This one is known as "Magic Safari", but is probably better known here as the "Q" Force:
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=rqbikneXWyg#t=1m30s
Michael Daniels
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Quote:
On 2012-02-03 22:30, Scott Cram wrote:
This one is known as "Magic Safari", but is probably better known here as the "Q" Force:
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=rqbikneXWyg#t=1m30s


I have a (hopefully more interesting) interactive version of a trick based on this principle on my website:

http://www.mindmagician.org/astro.aspx

Mike
Scott Cram
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Here's an interesting one called "Heads and Tails":
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=uPp0NQHjibs#t=15m9s
Scott Cram
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Two more were just posted, and they're both classics of mathematical magic.

Fibonacci Addition:
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Kc2ZtvicCSM#t=3m40s

And, yes, the high chief of mathematical magic, his royal highness, 1089:
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ykkXnRJmvaI#t=4m54s
Scott Cram
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Here's an interesting handling of the classic algebra problem, featuring the use of imaginary dice (the sound is a little behind the video):
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=13v84JXbEJk#t=12m55s
Scott Cram
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This bit is from Square One TV, but not a "Backstage with Blackstone" segment. It does, however, still show the use of a forcing matrix, without explaining WHY it works:
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=i6emC2KmXX4#t=5m50s

Fortunately, our own Doug Dyment has more on WHY they work, and how to construct them:
http://www.deceptionary.com/aboutmatrices.html
ropeadope
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Hi Scott,

Thanks for the clips of that fine performer, Harry Blackstone Jr.!
I remember seeing a few episodes of this entertaining educational TV show way back when.

One episode in particular,had Blackstone doing a "Bank Nite" routine. It`s not the first one you posted, although it did involve money & envelopes.

I was hoping to see that performance again. I`ve screened quite a few episodes but cannot find this "Bank Nite" routine episode.

I would like the help of any fellow members who may have come across this episode. If found please post.

Thanks in advance,
John
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Scott Cram
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There's a database of Square One TV episodes available here.

After searching for such a routine in the database, I can't find it myself.

Are you sure it was Square One TV? It may have been another show.
ropeadope
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Pretty sure it was Square One.

I remember it was basically the same format. Surrounded by 4 young people at the table. Borrowed a ? bill, put in one of five envelopes, let them be mixed & were distributed out one to each. I think he asked if anyone wanted to trade. Each opened and of course he had the bill.
Then in normal ending someone opened door behind him & relayed a message. Then naturally he hurries out, without an explanation of the secret this time, leaving the young people wondering how he managed to wind up with the bill. Then the person who loaned the bill said something to the effect; "Hey he left with my money". Which he did. LOL!

I am calling the trick "Bank Nite", but it may not have been called that on show.

Well the search begins again this morning. Thanks for the links Scott...

John
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intervalmagic
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Hi everyone. I've done research on this. The show ran from 1/26/87 through 11/6/92. From 1987 through 1990, Blackstone appeared on 42 episodes, 12 of which were repeats. A list of the episodes follows.

=================================
1987

102 - Dime, Penny, Nickel
109 - Heads or Tails
111 - Mental Speller
114 - The Imagination Dice
116 - The Coin Puzzle
119 - Move the Clip
122 - Name the Number
125 - One to Eight Mind Reading
126 - A Card Trick without Cards
128 (Repeat of Ep. 102)
133 - Lightening Calculator
135 - 1089
137 - 21 Card Trick
140 - Card and Number
142 - Coin Mindreading
145 - Face-up, Face-down
148 - Magic Social Security Number
152 - The Elimination Game
154 - The Magic Spells
156 - Cups
160 (Repeat of Ep. 119)
165 (Repeat of Ep. 109)
167 (Repeat of Ep. 111)
172 - Miraskill Candies


=================================
1988

203 - Crossed Out Numbers
205 - Five Envelope Spelling
207 - Magic Safari
210 - Liar and Truthteller
214 - Number Affinity
216 - Magic Dice
219 - 13 Turns
223 - Dice and Cards
225 - Quarter Parity
226 - Turning the Die
228 (Repeat of Ep. 135)
232 (Repeat of Ep. 102)
236 (Repeat of Ep. 172)
240 (Repeat of Ep. 205)


=================================
1989
None


=================================
1990

316 (Repeat of Ep. 142)
319 (Repeat of Ep. 125)
323 (Repeat of Ep. 135)
333 (Repeat of Ep. 203)
Kingman
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Never heard of the show, but I would have not been the right age to watch it when it was first on, having just finished getting out of the Navy. This was a lot of fun to watch. Thanks for posting the links and the information.

Kingman
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Paul Draper
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Does anyone have all 30 episodes up anywhere?
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